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Special Report With Bret Baier

News/Business. Bret Baier. The latest news from inside the Beltway. New.

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U.s. 11, Ted Kennedy 10, Massachusetts 5, Boston 5, Bret 4, Amway 4, Obama 4, Washington 4, Fox News 3, Michael 3, The F.b.i. 3, Virginia 3, The C.i.a. 3, America 3, Afghanistan 3, Us 3, Pelosi 2, Kennedy 2, David Lee Miller 2, Nextel 2,
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  FOX News    Special Report With Bret Baier    News/Business. Bret Baier. The  
   latest news from inside the Beltway. New.  

    August 27, 2009
    6:00 - 7:00pm EDT  

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plan. i will tell you exactly the place to go the way you can save your republic. that's tomorrow. don't miss it. from new york, good night, america. [captioning made possible by captioned by the national captioning institute ---www.ncicap.org--- bots bret: next on special report, can giving your neighbor healthcare insurance cost you your job? we'll give you the numbers. the white house is overseeing tough terror interrogations. thousands line the streets and wait to pay respects to the late senator ted kennedy, and an american military helicopter is targeted by somali pirates. we'll show you that video. all that plus the all-star panel, right here, right now. welcome to washington. i'm bret baier. the effort to make sure all
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americans are covered by health insurance could end up costing millions of workers their jobs. that's the finding of a new study on the current plans offered by congressional democrats and the president, but is it a fair conclusion? we report. you decide. here is correspondent shannon bream. >> healthcare reform is not going to be free. >> in a study commissioned by the heritage commission, a price tag is put on the legislative proposals as they exist now on chill. the news is not good for america's employers. under the pay or play mandate, which would require them to offer health insurance to their employees or pay a tax to the federal government, the study shows that it will cost employers at least $49 billion a year, putting 5.2 million workers at risk of unemployment or drastically reduced work hours and 10.2 million will face stunted wages as employers try to find ways to fund the mandate. >> this will be a difficult
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decision for them to make. they're also going to have to decide if they can raise prices and pass the cost on to consumers. >> reform supporters say under the current system, thousands are already losing their health insurance coverage or jobs because of the enormous cost employers are braring. >> what we need to think is how to make the system more he efficient and how to make sure that the system is protecting jobs. that's exactly what health reform will do. >> today press secretary bill burton took it a step further saying without reform, the entire u.s. economy faces ruin. >> if we don't do something, not only is healthcare going to be in a crisis, but the deficit, we just will not be on a fiscally sustainable path. >> as the financial realities of reform are coming together, there are questions about why tort reform isn't part of the package. one attendee at a town hall this week with democratic congressman jim moran demanded to know why the threat of lawsuits couldn't be reduced.
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>> there is $200 million over ten years in save ftion we had tort reform. nobody loses about the lawyers. why have we not even considered that? >> moran turned the mike over to a a reform proponent howard dean who gave a surprisingly frank answer. >> here's why tort reform is not in the bill. when you go to pass a really enormous bill like that, the more stuff you put it in it, the more enemies you make. the reason tort he reform is not on the bill because the people who wrote it did not want to take on the trial lawyers in addition to everybody else they were taking on. that is the plain and simple truth. >> the president of the american medical association says without more protections from doctors in the courtroom, they will continue to order tests that may be unnecessary and drive up healthcare costs simply in an effort to try to protect themselves. bret: that was quite the town hall. >> very feisty. bret: the commerce department has confirmed its initial estimate that the economy
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shrank at a lower pace in the sprink than the previous six months. the gross domestic product declined at 1% from april through june. the first quarter slump was 6.4, and 5.4 in the final three months of last year. first-time jobless benefit applications fell by 10,000 last week to 570,000. continuing claims dropped from 6.25 million to 6.13 million. the dow was up, gaining 37. the s&p 500 finished three ahead. the nasdaq picked up 3. while the wall street moment momentum is up, morale would appear to be headed in the other direction in langley, virginia. catherine herridge reports on tough times for the c.i.a. >> at c.i.a. headquarters in april, president obama said he was on the agency's team. >> i will be as vigorous in protecting you as you are vigorous in protecting the american people. >> but four months later,
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after another round of c.i.a. secrets were revealed in this internal report sought by the aclu, and a possible criminal prosecution is looming at the justice department department, some former c.i.a. officers speak of dismay and disappointment. >> the attorney jen general's decision and the context in which this is happening is having a devastating impact on morale. >> bob againier who, spent 27 years at the agency said he worries about the message sent to young officers. >> if they're asked to do that mission and things go bad, the politicians will run for cover and leave these officers holding the bag, facing the music alone. >> fox news spoke to five former c.i.a. officers for this story. most asked to remain anonymous given the sensitivity of the topic and the justice department probe. one former officer charged with finding bin laden in afghanistan put it this way "holder is saying to all these
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people that their ass is grass. this will accelerate an already high shortage of senior officers. " this view is shared by another former c.i.a. official who also declined to speak on the record, quote "people criticized us after 9/11 to being too risk averse. if we weren't then, we will be now. " "one company received a large number of e-mails from the inside saying you can help me find a job? i'm tired of the second-guessing and looking over my shoulder." >> the effect of what is happening is subtle. yes, people are slowing up for work. -- people are showing up for work. they're going through their actions. they're not crying in the hall ways, but my concern is that it is having an effect over time on the culture of the organization. you won't see it right away. my fear is that you're not going to see it until, frankly, it's too late. >> the u.s. intelligence official tells fox the enhanced interrogations are over and they were just a small part of the agency's work. separately a c.i.a. spokesman issued a statement in response
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to our reporting. "the c.i.a. is no stranger to controversy. it comes with the territory and always has. frankly, most people shrug it off and devote themselves to the essential work of protecting the nation." bret: catherine, thank you. it appears that interrogating important ter terror suspects is no longer part of the c.i.a. job description. a new unit will take care of that. correspondent james rosen reports there are new questions about the command structure being mandated by the president. >> if bin laden were captured tomorrow, the vital business of questioning him would no longer fall to the c.i.a. but to a multi-agency unit president obama has formed called the high value interrogation detainee group or hig. the new unit will have its own director and be housed at the f.b.i. beyond that, officials are vague about which agency will exercise ultimate authority. on monday, the white house indicated it would be the bureau. >> the director will report to
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the director of the f.b.i. >> today, a spokesman for the department of justice told fox news the hig is designed to be a multi-agency group, not a sub unit of the f.b.i. or the justice department. officials at the national security council will provide policy guidance and oversight. that would imply the n.s.c. is calling the shots. the white house assured reporters today that neither it or the nsc will provide any additional roles even when they butt heads. >> if there are disagreements, the different agencies are able to come together and make a decision. >> yet with terrorist interrogations now the stuff of headlines and criminal probes, national security veterans warp it may be difficult for the white house and president obama to keep their distance. former intelligence officer terry shaver who conducted intelligence in afghanistan cited lyndon johnson who immersed himself in the details of vietnam bombing
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campaigns. >> you can have the l.b.j. syndrome, the idea that once you have direct knowledge of day-to-day activities coming in to a central location near or at the white house, there is a tendency, almost a temptation to meddle in actual field activities. >> richard v. allen ran the n.s.c. during president reagan's first term. >> the national security council's staff doesn't have, in my view, the expertise to be in the interrogation business. then, of course, there are the issues of the f.b.i., how it works and has worked traditionally with the c.i.a., not all that well, as we know, so there are all sorts of bureaucratic cultural impacts here. >> so much about this new unit remains uncertain because it's just leaping off the blueprint pages. the white house said today, for example, that it hasn't even selected a director n washington, james rosen, fox news. bret: former vice president dick cheney will be the guest on fox news sunday. check your local listings for
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times in your area. the chairman of the federal reserve gets caught up in an identity theft scam, and thousands turn out to pay their he respects to senator ted kennedy. cheer clear maybe one of the most important...
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bret: flags at half staff as the public viewing of the late senator ted kennedy has just begun at the john f. kennedy presidential library and museum in boston. correspondent david lee miller is there. good evening, david lee. >> good evening, bret. they got off to a late start. just a few moments ago, the public began to file into the library r you can see them entering the building over my shoulder. it was supposed to begin about 6:00, more precisely at 6:00. it got off a few minutes late but now it is underway. what's going to happen now as they enter the building, they're going to enter a large room where they will have the opportunity to view the closed casket of senator ted kennedy. it is a magnificent room with
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a plate glass window overlooking the harbor and the city of boston, the city where ted kennedy's uncle was once the mayor. now, the motorcade made its way through the city taking about two and a half hours today. it began after there was a private family mass. the family home in hyannis port. the members of the military brought the senator's coffin out of the home. members of the family silently followed. they were led by jean ken dill smith, his sister, as well as his wife, victoria, and the entire kennedy chan was there. some of the relatives were just children. then the motorcade was off as it passed through the streets. there were hundreds if not thousands in some locations to wish the senator well. it took a scenic tour of sorts, past many of the significant locations in downtown boston, locations significant to the kennedy family. among them, the church where the family matriarch rose
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kennedy was baptized and where her funeral service was later held. it also drove past the home where john f. kennedy once lived shortly before he ran for congress, and finally, it arrived here at the j.f.k. high brare ry, the funeral procession pulling up to the very front of the building. we could see in the front of the hearse, the son of the late senator, patrick kennedy, and we are told that there is going to be what they call a civilian sort of color guard of sorts, members of the kennedy family will be welcoming those who wish to come here today, bret to wish the senator well. we expect that they could remain here well past the scheduled closing time of 11:00. bret. bret: david lee miller live in boston. this weekend, fox news channel will have continuing coverage of senator ted kennedy's funeral, the funeral mass will be covered with shepard smith and then his burial at arlg arlington national cemetery
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anchored by chris wallace this saturday as the tributes continue to the late senator kennedy. the big question in massachusetts is who is going to replace the senator, and how will that person be chosen? chief political correspondent carl cameron tells us both answers are very much up in the air. >> when ted kennedy's he terminal brain cancer was first disclosed a year ago, the race for his seat quietly began. in boston, officials are already planning a statewide special election for december or january, are but before then, democrats on beacon hill man to quickly change state law so an interim senator can be appointed in the meantime. the odds-on favorite is paul kirk, a long-time kennedy aide. he was national democratic party chairman in the '80's and chairs the kennedy library foundation now. he's 71 and would not run for the seat next year, but kennedy himself in 2004 lobbied to have the governor's interim authority revoked. massachusetts senator john kerry was running for president at the time. kennedy did not want incumbent
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republican mitt romney appointing a g.o.p. successor had kerry one so kennedy got and won appointments stopped, in recent days he wrote the governor asking him to restore appointing powers. the governor is a democrat. they are planning now to restore interim appointment power after labor day. so far, two democratic candidates are in for what promises to be a blockbuster special election. congressman steve lynch from south boston, his union-backed pro life and and a ti gay marriage and martha cokely, popular and with statewide name recognition. others include ed markey, to who is number 12 in democratic senior seniority right now. >> there is a possibility that no kennedy would run and that would mean for massachusetts the first time a kennedy has not served in the united states senate since 1952.
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>> vicky kennedy, the senator's widow, said she will not run. all bets are off if a kennedy does, and former kennedy joe kennedy, has nearly $2 million left in his campaign coifers from his years in the house. he has not said what he plans but would instantly be a frontrunner. no republicans have stepped forward yet, but since 2006, the g.o.p. has been recruiting former red sox great kirk schilling who retired in march. schilling lacks political organization and experience but there is no doubt about his name recognition and popularity in massachusetts. some republicans say he might have the best chance in the g.o.p. g.o.p. of winning which in massachusetts for ted kennedy's seat is still pretty slim chances. bret: carl cameron live on capitol hill. something old that is new again in healthcare and an american helicopter takes fire from voe mally pirates. you'll see the video. he ran off with his secretary! she's 23 years old!
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bret: you're looking live at the j.f.k. presidential library in boston. we saw a live shot of the casket. can we put up the live shot again of the casket of senator ted kennedy lying in repose there overlooking the boston harbor. this has been open for public viewing and now will continue through the night into tomorrow before the funeral mass on saturday. in news around the world, german chancellor angela merkel met with israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu in berlin, discussing the iranian nuclear program and prospects for new israeli peace negotiations with the palestinians. we will have more on those subjects when "special report" broadcasts live from jerusalem monday, featuring an interview with israeli president shimon perez. in northwestern pakistan, a
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suicide bomber hit a security check point killing at least 18. it happened at the main border crossing for convoys ferrying nato supplies into afghanistan. the guards had gathered for a meal to end their ramadan fast. and a u.s. service member was killed today in a militant attack in south you southern afghanistan. 44 american troops have died this month, equaling the number killed in july, the highest total since the war began. u.s. forces monitoring somali pie at activity faced a dangerous problem wednesday. jennifer griffin joins us live with this story. >> hello, bret. this is the first time that somali pirates off the coast of somolia have fired weapons at an armed u.s. military aircraft. the incident happened in the last 24 hours when a u.s. navy helicopter made a surveillance flight over a taiwan niece-flagged fishing vessel, which was taken over in
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april. you can see the pirates standing over the heavy caliber weapon and then you see the blast fire, the black necks coming toward the cam rax the u.s. coast guard was about 3,000 yards away t returned to base unharmed. the pirates have turned the wind farm into a moargtsship to attack other vessels such as the maersk alabama, the first u.s. vessel taken hostage this year. captain richard phillips shown on the right was taken hostage and freed when a team of navy seals shot and killed his pirate captors but piracy continues to be a problem. there have been 136 incidents involving pirates this year alone. five ships, and 105 people are currently being held hostage by pirates. 235 pirates have been captured and turned over for prosecution. ten pirates have been killed. among them, 3 hijackers from the maersk alabama, which was eventually libated, but this is the first time that
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pirates brazenly fired on u.s. military personnel, suggesting to some that the rules of the game may be changing out there. bret: that's a story we'll follow. thank you. the pentagon is denying that it has been compiling personal profiles on journalists, rating them as positive or negative and denying access based on their past stories. an article in "stars and tripes" made those allegations in a story released today. veterans trying to take advantage of a new g.i. benefit bill benefits are hitting a roadblock. there are 2r 00,000 financial aid applications under process with school about to start. like the transportation department with cash for clunkers, the veterans department has been forced to hire hundreds of new work ez to handle the applications for this program. some unions are being he very selective about freedom of speech, and the democratic
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congressman who says nancy pelosi is too divisive to be speak her of the house.
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that his believe that healthcare is not an intrinsic right that. did not sit well with left-leaning shoppers who called for a boy scott of the grocery chain. now a federation of unions called the c.t.w. investment group is asking the whole foods board to remove macky as chairman, saying he intended to capitalize on the brand reputation of whole foods to champion his personal political views but has instead deeply offend add key segment of whole foods consumer base." one commentator at "the washington times" writes, quote, the case of mr. mackey is recent evidence that there is intolerance toward competing ideas." a well paid united nations official who works in a department that promotes ethics, transparency and accountability is under investigation for lying about his address to illegal obtain welfare funding. french authorities say bruno bastet listed himself, his then common law wife and two children as residents of a
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paris housing come mex designed for the less fortunate so he could pocket a $2,000 a month rental housing subsidy, but he earns as estimated tax-free salary of $180,000 a year working for the united nations. he has lived in a posh new york city apartment since 2004, and his former companion and kids have lived in the dominican republic for the last four years. alabama democratic congressman parker griffith says he will not support nancy pelosi as house speaker again. the huntsville times newspaper reports that during a town hall meeting monday, give ith said, quote "i would not vote for her. someone that divisive and that polarizing cannot bring us together." one attendee suggested that pelosi would not let give ith back into the house if she learns of his criticism but the freshman democrat responded "if she doesn't like it, i have a gift certificate to a mental health center." pelosi center received unanimous support from house
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democrats in her 2007 and 2009 elections for speaker. her office has not responded to a request for comment. even federal reserve chairman ben bernanke is not immune to being scammed. he was the victim of an identity fraud ring that sold more than $2 million from individuals and financial institutions a thief stole bernanke's wife's purse last year and began cashing checks on the family bank account. the purse snatcher worked for a crime ring that had been under federal investigation. the feds have made a number of arrests an at least one ringleader has pleaded guilty. bernanke called identity theft a serious problem, quote "our family was one of but 500 separate ins instances traced to one crime ring." the u.s. no longer leads the world in deaths from the h1n1 flu. brazil has taken over that title. the country's health ministry has recorded 557 fatalities to
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522 here in the u.s. officials at home are testing vaccines to keep this anticipated ourbreak from taking more lives. >> 7-year-old nina and her 9-year-old sister hanna are being vaccinated against h1n1, among 600 children participating in a study to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of vaccines. the first 45 million doses are expected to become available to the public in mid october. >> there's children in school getting sick already. if my children are vaccinated it means hopefully they won't get sick or pass it along to somebody else who has a lower immune system. >> health owe firn officials at emery university and children's healthcare of atlanta, researchers are giving 100 children shots for h1n1 along with shots for seasonal flu, to see if simultaneous vaccinations offer protection against the
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two diseases. studies elsewhere will determine the proper dosage. >> it may be more important to do the studies in children, because they are affected more often and with more serious consequences than healthy adults. >> experts believe older americans, who are exposed to a similar virus from 1918 through the late 150 may still have resistance to the it 0to the 2009 strain, but not for kids which is why the h1n1 is taking a different route, popping up not in nursing homes, but in schools. bret: go to foxnews.com to get the most up to date information on the flew. type in h1n1 in the search bar and it will take you to a slew of stories about the flu. check it out on-line. there is one change in healthcare that very few people will have a problem with. correspondent laura ing 8 report -- laura ingle reports on a blast from the past that
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has patients feeling right at home. >> doctors at your doorstep. >> we provide acute urge urgent care in your home, office or hotel room, wherever you are, wherever the patient is, we go. >> just to get it right to a doctor-patient relationship. >> the growing market for more personal medical care has prompted some doctors and physician assists to ditch the office and hit the road with their medical bags an prescription pad. >> make the phone call, and i had someone out here within an hour. >> once a routine part of practicing medicine, house calls became a thing of the past. and, doctors started seeing an average of three to four patients an hour in their office. >> there is a sense of going to a doctor he's office of really feeling like a number. >> but now, house calls are on the rise. according to a recent profile survey by the american academy of family physicians. patients say they want more
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one on one time with their healthcare providers and want to avoid going unnecessarily to the emergency room, or waiting days or weeks to get into the doctor's office. the price of a house call varies from practice to practice, and some insurance companies will reimburse the fee, which ranges from $250 to $600. some of the uninsured who are also in good health say it is a great alternative. >> for $250, everything was done, no extra fee for the prescription. it was just easy. >> those in the medical community say tailoring this type of service had take time but in the end could be part of the solution for healthcare reform. >> i walk through the door and they say, oh, my god, i haven't had a doctor do a house call in 50 years, and thank you for coming. >> in new york, laura ingle, fox news. bret: well, the good news for the president is support for healthcare reform appears to have stopped falling, at least for the time being, so what's the bad news?
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>> i have real concerns about the failure so far to incorporate the sort of cost col that will make our system affordable for businesses and taxpayers for years to come. >> there are costs an somebody has to pay for those costs and healthcare reform is not going to be free. bret: in a new study out today, the heritage foundation has commissioned the study, and economist mark wilson puts a price tag on the proposals that are out there as they exist now. for american employers this are interesting stats there. under the pay or play mandate it would require employers to pay a tax to the federal government, costing at least $49 billion a year, putting 5.2 million at risk for unemployment and another 10.2
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million employees will face stunted wages as a log loss and a loss of benefits as employers try to find a way to mandate the payments as it is written now. so to discuss how it factors into the big picture, let's bring in our panel. steve hayes, kiersten powers and charles krauthammer. what about this analysis, steve? do you buy it? >> yeah, i think it's interesting. one of the things that has been missing, i think, from the broader healthcare debate has been the discussion of what impact it will have on small businesses and employers. anytime you're going to impose costs on small businesses, they're either going to have to cut the workforce or they're going to have to pass those costs on either to their employees or to their customers. i think this study makes cheer just how large a potential impact that will be, and i think it should make the white house nervous to have these kinds of studies, this kind of discussion enter the debate.
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bret: kiersten. >> i think there are different studies depending on where you are coming from. heritage is conservative so they don't like the healthcare plan, no big surprise. there are plenty of small businesspeople that feel the op sid, that feel if this isn't healthcare reform they can't compete. the most people affected by pay or play mandate are not offering insurance to employees. it goes back to what he we talked about last night, and ted kennedy talked about this, whether it is a moral imperative to provide health insurance. there are a lot of people that feel that way and we're moving into this system where employers don't have any responsibility to their employees. they just hire people as consultants and offer them health insurance.
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that's not the direction obama is going. >> numbers are number. a moral imperative can have economic consequences and it's important to hook at them. i don't care who did that study. it's obvious if you are going to impose a mandate on employers, there is a cost. you don't have a free lunch anywhere t could be a cost in the cost of doing business or a cost translated into fewer employees or unemployment. what is killing the obama health plan is not the republicans, not the blue dogs, not the rowdies in the town meetings. it's the numbers. it's reality. obama says i'm going to expand coverage and reduce the cost. the c.b.o. steps in and gives you numbers. it says no, it will not reduce. it will increase our costs by a trillion dollars. obama says oh, yeah, it's in the first decade question and then it will decline. the c.b.o. says no, it will increase in the second decade. the numbers and the reality is
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sinking obama-care. bret: here are the numbers in the polls. a new rasmussen poll out today about healthcare reform and the democrats favorability has 43% opposed, 53%, roughly the same as it was a few weeks ago. here something another interesting element. these town hall meetings, there was one in virginia for rep representative moran, democrat from virginia, and he brought along howard dean, former presidential candidate, also former physician, and the head of the d.n.c. to answer some questions about the bills that are on the table. he was asked a question about tort reform and why that is not in there. take a listen to this answer. >> here is why tort reform is not in the bill. when you go to pass a really enormous bill like that, the more stuff you put it in it, the more enemies you make, right? and the reason tort reform is not on the bill is because the people who wrote it did not want to take on the trial lawyers in addition to everybody else they were taking on.
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that is the plain and simple truth. bret: that is some truth serum at that town hall meeting. >> you got to love howard dean. he is our best friend. he speaks the truth on this. he did, and it's, again, the more discussion in the town halls, the more discussion, you know, in the workplace, in private or on television, the more these truths are coming out. c.b.o. on numbers and howard dean on the hidden political realities. it's a question -- tort reform would save tens of billions of dollars. that is known widely. it is a question of between $60 and $200 billion every year, an enormous amount of money. it is nowhere in the bill. obama hasn't spoken a word why. it is because the trial lawyers own the democratic party. bret: kiersten, you talk about the the straight talk express, that was howard dean.
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now democrats think it is a benefit for the town halls they are launching. if the answer is that, is that a good thing? >> not for democrats, no. look, this is a real problem, because if barack obama is really trying to be bipartisan, he would have included tort reform. you have to at least give that, give something to the conservatives. i mean, i don't think they were ever going to go along with the public option, but it is indisputable that we need tort reform and it has become -- i mean, what howard dean has said is absolutely true and it is something that the white house was not even to extend any kind of olive ban much over, and i think they're paying a price for it. >> the democrats are fun to watch in this healthcare reform debate. the republicans could just go away. they don't have to say anything. you had howard dean making this statement today. huh a freshman democrat from colorado talking about the need for cuts to medicare and
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pete stark calling the moderates brain dead because they opposed the public option. it's just comedy to watch the democrats on this. bret: see where it goes. is the c.i.a. being devalued by the white house, and what is that doing for morale in the agency? the panel will discuss all this, next. my grandkids are a great reason for me to keep my bones strong but even with calcium, vitamin d, and exercise, i still got osteoporosis. i never thought i could do more than stop my bone loss. then my doctor told me i could, with once-monthly boniva. boniva works with your body to help stop and reverse bone loss. studies show, after one year on boniva, nine out of ten women stopped and reversed their bone loss. i know i did. (announcer) don't take boniva if you have low blood calcium, severe kidney disease or can't sit or stand for at least one hour. follow dosing instructions carefully.
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stop taking boniva and tell your doctor if you have difficult or painful swallowing, chest pain or severe or continuing heartburn, as these may be signs of serious upper digestive problems. if jaw problems or severe bone, joint, and/or muscle pain develop, tell your doctor. i've got this one body, and this one life, so i wanted to stop my bone loss. but i did more. i reversed it with boniva.
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>> the president is responsible for any decision that gets made inside his administration, but there will be folks in the intelligence community making decisions about intelligence gathering. >> the issues of the f.b.i., how it works and has worked traditionally with the c.i.a., not all that well, as we know, so there are all sorts of bureaucratic and cultural
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impacts here, an among them is the fact that the f.b.i. is not experienced in terrorist interrogation. bret: ok. if bin laden was captured tomorrow, he would no longer be captured by the c.i.a. he would be questioned by a multi-agency unit set up by the white house called "the high value interrogation detainee group" or hig. the new unit will have its own director and will be housed in the f.b.i. here is the question. there is confusion over who has ultimate authority. initially the white house said the f.b.i. director would. today the justice department said it's a group, not a sub unit of the f.b.i. or the justice department. we're back with our panel. steve. it's a little confusing. >> that makes you feel good, right? this new high value interrogation group and they don't know who is running it or what it's going to do i think really this is a big moment. i mean, the inspector general report that came out got a lot
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of attention, and it should have gotten a lot of attention, but really perhaps the bigger announcement as it relates to america's national security is this new mects odd of interrogating detainees. i think really we have now gone back to phnom penh. this is now pre-9/11 mind-set. the white house -- president obama campaigned as a law enforcement first candidate, but i don't think that even those who supported him thought that he was going to go this far. giving the f.b.i. the lead on these things, on these interrogations might, in fact, mean if they're going to try to prosecute terrorists in u.s. courts might, in fact, bring us back to this question of do we read miranda rights to terrorists? i talked to legal scholars today who thought that is all but inevitable. the practical effect will be giving them rights, in effect that americans have. >> kirsten, is this a slap at the c.i.a. this new unit?
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>> i think it is an attempt for them to consolidate interrogation and make sure it is done correctly and there is a fundamental disagreement between conservatives and hib rales and me and most people sitting next to me about what type of interrogations work the best. i don't know if there is any reason that they can't have a new interrogation unit where they can interrogate people without baking the law. i don't necessarily buy into the idea that the c.i.a. is just persecuted agency. you know, they didn't do a great job in predicting 9/11 or a lot of other things like the fall of soviet union or iranian revolution. i think there are a lot of problems with the c.i.a., and i think that it needs to be overhauled. bret: you're not suggesting that all the interrogations that they did were illegal? >> no. but i think there were obviously a lot of problems associated with the c.i.a. and that perhaps you can lay that
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blame at the seat of the white house or the seat of the justice department if you want, but i do think that they were sort of scam belling after 9/11. they knew they dopped the ball and were going further than they should have been going in trying to get people to confess to things and in doing so got people to confess to things they didn't do and some people broke the law. >> but this new hig unit with no lines of authority, ostensibly f.b.i., all kinds of people in that committee with no one who decides. the white house apparently having ultimate authority on this. it is a disaster in the making. if we capture bin laden tomorrow, we will learn how he likes his lamb prepared and that's t we will learn nothing else from him, and we are going to read him his rights. a white house official reported by "the washington post" earlier in the week said that we would not necessarily read all of the high value terrorists miranda rights. is it even a question? is the id ossie of imagining
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that you capture zahari, one of the cruelest terrorists in world history, wow actually think of saying to him you do -- you know, that he doesn't have to actually tell you anything is insane. of course he doesn't have a right to remain silent. this man barely has a right to live. you capture him, you make him talk. now, it doesn't mean by all means, but if you stick him in a situation in which he is mirren died, you are guaranteed you will learn nothing. this isn't a game, and we are actually involved in two wars. bret: so why would the white house roll out a program and be this vague about who has the ultimate authority? >> because it hasn't been thought through, because it's a political reaction to their being upset about how the c.i.a. has acted in the past, and because it wants to apiece its left. it's not thinking clearly.
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it's being incredibly irresponsible. bret: that's it for the panel. stay tuned for the answer of the week that you probably missed. . he ran off with his secretary! she's 23 years old! - oh, come on. - enough! you get half and you get half. ( chirp ) team three, boathouse? ( chirp ) oh yeah-- his and hers. - ( crowd gasping ) - ( chirp ) van gogh? ( chirp ) even steven. - ( chirp ) mansion. - ( chirp ) good to go. ( grunts ) timber! ( chirp ) boss? what do we do with the shih-tzu? - ( crowd gasps ) - ( chirp ) joint custody. - phew! - announcer: get work done now. communicate in less than a second with nextel direct connect. only on the now network. deaf, hard of hearing and people with speech disabilities access www.sprintrelay.com.
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bret: finally tonight, in many pointed interviews politicians often try to not answer a specific question. then they provide their own answer. dodging, twisting, turning to try to get away from the original question that was asked. well, in the miss universe pageant tuesday night. miss dominican republic had a new tactic. >> according to the world health organization, there is an urgent need for h.i.v. testing across the globe. do you believe that h.i.v. testing should be made mandatory? [translater] >> good night, bahama

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